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November 28, 2014

Review: Saturday Night Live - Taylor Swift

by Annie Wu, posted Nov 8th 2009 9:40AM
taylor swift snl
(S35E05) I had to talk myself through being allowed to criticize Taylor Swift. Ever since Kanye West VMA outburst turned everyone in America into Swift's over-protective mom, she's been shown even more as an innocent country-inspired sweetheart. Every time she messed up in this episode, I felt the need to hold back any not-super-great remarks because, well, she's a teeny-bopper! Teeny-boppers are just kids goofin' around!

And then I have to pause and remind myself that she's almost 20-years-old, around the same age as Shia LaBeouf and Ellen Page when they first hosted and Abby Elliiott when she initially joined the featured players. Screw it, there's no need to hold back. Swift is a musician, so we can't expect her acting skills to be super-good, but the fact I keep thinking she's only 14 shouldn't affect anything else.

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, I can say: This episode was simultaneously forgettable and, in a lot of places, rather cringeworthy. Swift's timing really did a number on the pacing of the entire show (see: "The View", Hollywood Dish" and "Penelope Wedding"). It may have been a combination of nerves and her level of acting experience, but there were enough little mistakes to make it look like she forgot there were cue cards in the middle of the scene.

On the other hand, when she was singing, she did very well (hey, this is a lot coming from someone like me) and her monologue was, for the most part, pretty cute. See? I'm making an effort not to crap all over her hard work.

For me, Swift's surprise acting highlight was her short Shakira impression, which was absolutely hilarious and scarily spot-on. It's a shame that was part of the final sketch of the night, airing during an hour at which most of her core fans were probably already deep in their REM phase.

Before they dropped into their midnight sleep-coma, though, I'm sure they appreciated the New Moon parody, Firelight, which included Frankenstein monsters and mummies. Kudos to Swift for including the non-stop Kristen Stewart lip-biting. Now, if only she had captured her dead eyes as well.

Some other notable performances included Jason Sudeikis' Glenn Beck and Kristen Wiig's Greta Van Susteren from the cold open, as well as Amy Poehler's brief return for Weekend Update's "Really!?! with Seth and Amy." All the little moments in the driving PSA also elicited a few chuckles ("Y'know, before me, your father was married to a Korean woman").

On that note, I'm concerned by how the "Scared Straight" sketch actually makes me laugh. I don't like that I like it, but I do. It's not high comedy by any means, but the sheer level of inappropriate aggression plus barely relevant pop culture is really working for me.

Also, we got to see multiple players break character from laughing, which is a sort of a rare moment with this SNL generation, especially when you compare it to the days of Jimmy "I Am Hair Gel And Giggles" Fallon and company in the late 90s/early 2000s.

And that's about it. I'm pretty sure I'll forget this episode existed as soon as the season's over. Maybe even a little before.

Here are some select video clips from the evening to keep your memory going until that time:









[Watch episodes and clips of Saturday Night Live and other shows over at SlashControl.]

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Chelsea

This was my absolute favorite episode of saturday night live!
Not just because im a taylor swift fan, I just thought it was dead on in every sketch (ie the view, nic cage was crazy, kate g does do that, the rest of them just so comparable), and i thought they were all entertaining.
Idk if its just me, but i thought that monolouge was amazing. Especially if you know her and her music style, and seen a music video of hers lol.
Oh, and the penelope sketches seem to always be my favorite for some reason, they're just so funny!
"I have a salad bar in my car. The steering wheel is a big crouton, and it runs on blue cheese dressing"

November 12 2009 at 3:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Craig

She did a very good job. But stop saying she's not an actress. She was in a CSI episode, and in the upcoming movie Valentine's Day.

November 10 2009 at 2:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
blanca

I'm a big fan of Taylor Swift as well as my family and we thought she did a great job! Her monologue was right on the money talking about Joe Jonas and Kanye. The hilight of the show for me was when she did the Shakira impersanation. She was great!

November 09 2009 at 2:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Stas

Personally, I thought this was a good ep. I always like seeing hosts who are truly excited about being a part of the show. It was obvious that Taylor was nervous, especially at the beginning. Her lack of acting experience however, was completely made up for with sheer enthusiasm and energy that kept this show going for the full 90 mins. I can't say the same for some recent eps that become a snoozefest after the Weekend Update segment, where it seems that the writers are just competing for the most absurd unfunny sketch based on "pop-culture item of the week".

There we a few clever lines in this ep and one of my favorites is: "We have a great show, Kanye West is NOT here" at the bottom of the monologue.

November 09 2009 at 1:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dave

Actually thought it was one of the best episodes this season so far. Now this and the 'review' of V, I think TVSquad and I are just growing apart.

November 09 2009 at 1:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jim

Lesson learned: Taylor is a better actress than she is a singer!

November 09 2009 at 11:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bria

oh i see, so you're not much older than taylor. ok i guess that makes more sense then. but still why so much hate.. she's pretty much one of the only stars that doesn't get herself into trouble with drinking and stuff

November 08 2009 at 8:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bria

and sorry i didn't mean that to be rude like saying that moms are bitter about young girls.
but it just sounds like a mom who's like oh whatever she's an adult cuz she's 19 so i can bash her if i want to. that's just rude. it's really no different than bashing a 16 year old. a few years doesn't make that much a difference. 19 & 20 year olds still have feelings you know!

November 08 2009 at 7:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to bria's comment
Annie W.

Well. I'm 21. And not a mom. But I am a robot. So I'm not sure what you mean by this -- what was it -- "feelings."

November 08 2009 at 7:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
C.A.

Annie Wu you win the internets!

November 09 2009 at 9:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bria

this is the stupidest review i've ever read in my life.
you're obviously some mom who chooses to be all bitter about young girls and doesn't have any fun or humor in life anymore.
this episode was my favorite one of all time! taylor swift is is so cute and she did a great job.
i thought all the skits were sooo hilarious. not only me but my little brother, my older sisters, my mom and dad thought it was hilarious too.
so idk what you're talking about but i loved it!!! especially the roommate skit!

November 08 2009 at 7:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mel

Taylor is amazing she is half my age so not in her demographic. I love her songs -she writes her own music and manages all the aspects of her concerts typically done my producers, stage crew, etcl

SNL she blew it away!Taylor will be aound for many years to come. Beautiful without implants, baring her bits in public or ridiculous hype pure talent, personality & beauty. YEAH

November 08 2009 at 7:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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